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Dem Groups Want to Make Kirstjen Nielsen a Post-Trump Pariah

Dem Groups Want to Make Kirstjen Nielsen a Post-Trump PariahAlex WongHomeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen may have been pushed out of her job by the president over the weekend. But a coalition of progressive groups now want to ensure that she finds no comfy landing in her career after Trump. The groups are readying a plan to shame any major news networks or large corporation that hires the soon-to-be former DHS Secretary, contending that her involvement in the Trump administration’s family separation policy inherently disqualifies her from a plum gig in the private sector. “If a corporation or university or speaking agency is going to bring her on board, there will be a significant reputational risk associated with that decision,” Karl Frisch, a spokesperson for the liberal advocacy group Restore Public Trust told The Daily Beast. “Ultimately her great moral failing irreparably harmed and traumatized thousands of families seeking help in the United States. She facilitated that, she helped plan it, she helped execute it and she defended it.” The decision to go after Nielsen—as well as other administration officials—even after her tenure has ended shows not only how detested a figure she became among progressives, but also the degree to which political advocacy now includes campaigns to influence private sector behavior. Nielsen knows this all too well. In June 2018, she was jeered by protesters as she ate at a Washington, D.C.-based Mexican restaurant.Prior to Nielsen’s resignation, Restore Public Trust and nearly 40 immigration and progressive advocacy groups had formed a coalition to implore corporate leaders to avoid hiring a slew of Trump officials involved in implementing the family separation policy including Nielsen, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Over the weekend, the group sent a letter to Fortune 500 CEOs listing all the names of the individuals they hoped would be blacklisted from hiring. That was followed by an ad bearing a similar message in The New York Times on Sunday, featuring a red Make America Great Again hat with the words “Put Kids In Cages.”“Any senior administration official who leaves and thinks that they can cash in after being a part of this horrific policy has another thing coming in,” Frisch said. “We are sounding the alarm now.” The coalition hopes that by drawing continued attention to the family separation policy and those who helped implement it, they can mobilize employees of corporations and potentially major news networks to refuse to hire those individuals most closely associated with the policy.It’s a strategy born from the realization that even those government officials associated with deeply controversial policies often get plum gigs once they enter the private sector. It’s also an idea that is built on some past successes. Last summer, employees of Salesforce wrote a letter to the company’s CEO Marc Benioff urging him to reconsider company ties with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He declined to do so but said that their technology was not being used for family separation. There was a similar outcry when Sarah Isgur, the former top communications aide for Sessions, was hired as a politics editor at CNN. That led to assurances from the network that she would have no involvement in actual politics coverage, town halls with Democratic presidential candidates, or the debate CNN is hosting this summer. Isgur ultimately said that she would be taking a role as political analyst instead. Media monitors like Sleeping Giants, who led campaigns against advertisers on Tucker Carlson’s primetime Fox News show, are also keeping a close watch on Nielsen’s possible media bookings or potential signings as a contributor. The organization told The Daily Beast that they will observe the unfolding situation and develop an official plan should more news develop. And American Oversight, a progressive investigative organization, said it would continue its research into Nielsen’s role in the president’s family separation policy even though she was no longer part of the administration. While some groups will remain focused on Nielsen even as she leaves the public sector, other organizations said their efforts will shift to the remainder of DHS and the nominee to replace her. An official with CREDO, a mobile advocacy group, said it was poised to launch an aggressive pushback on the person chosen to fill Nielsen’s role, should the president choose someone from the list of names he’s rumored to be considering. “The names being floated so far are troubling — the next person to take this job needs to unequivocally denounce Trump's family separation policy,” Josh Nelson, co-director of CREDO told The Daily Beast. That has also been an early stipulation of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, many of whom had called for Nielsen’s resignation before this weekend. “I will not support a nominee who does not forcefully and unequivocally denounce this administration’s policy of separating families at the border,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said on Monday. “The next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security must be committed to reuniting families and protecting the human rights of those seeking asylum. Cruelty is not a substitute for a smart, lawful, and humane immigration policy. The American people deserve better.”Read more at The Daily Beast.



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Venezuela: Maduro calls on armed groups to keep order amid electricity rationing

Venezuela: Maduro calls on armed groups to keep order amid electricity rationingPresident announces 30-day rationing plan and says pro-government
colectivos must ‘defend the peace of every block’ Nicolás Maduro said: ‘We are facing a group of monsters who want to destroy Venezuela.’ Photograph: AFP/Getty Images Venezuela’s authoritarian leader Nicolás Maduro has called on armed pro-government groups to help subdue unrest as he announced a 30-day electricity rationing plan set to inflict further pain on the population. In a televised address, Maduro said he had no choice but to take drastic measures while his government rebuilt key sections of Venezuela’s national grid following a succession of crippling power failures since 7 March. Experts and Maduro’s political opponents say the repeated collapse of Venezuela’s electricity system – which has left millions without light or water – is a consequence of years of neglect, corruption and incompetence. But in his late-night appearance Maduro repeated the Socialist party line that Venezuela had suffered a series of “brutish attacks” masterminded by his political opponents and their supporters in the White House. “We are facing a group of monsters who want to destroy Venezuela,” Maduro said, claiming their aim was to topple his government by “making the people and the country go mad”. Amid growing fears that Venezuela’s crisis could be moving into a violent new phase, Maduro instructed “revolutionary and patriotic” government supporters and armed pro-government gangs known as
colectivos to mobilize “to defend the peace of every
barrio, of every block”. “They will not take away our peace,” Maduro vowed. Last week Maduro’s second-in-command, Diosdado Cabello, appeared in a menacing video flanked by dozens of masked men and women who he referred to as “peace defenders” but who many fear have been tasked with violently repressing dissent. There were signs on Sunday that such groups had begun responding to the government’s calls. As further blackouts struck Venezuela and citizens took to the streets to protest, photographs and videos circulated appearing to show armed men confronting demonstrators in the capital, Caracas. Two protesters were reported to have been shot after burning blockades were set up in streets near the presidential palace. “We’re here fighting for water and power, we’ve gone twenty-some days without water,” Yofre Gamez, 32, told Reuters as shots rang out. In the western state of Zulia, perhaps the worst affected by the electricity crisis, opposition leaders claimed a 70-year-old woman had been shot dead by members of one
colectivo during a protest. Footage also circulated on social media that appeared to show paramilitaries and police special forces searching a housing estate for protesters in Barquisimeto, Venezuela’s fourth largest city. Maduro’s challenger, Juan Guaidó, claimed such paramilitary groups were trying – but failing – to suppress popular opposition to Hugo Chávez’s successor, who has led Venezuela into economic crisis. “We must stay strong and stay in the streets,” tweeted Guaidó, who most western governments have recognized as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. The Venezuelan human rights group Provea said Maduro’s so-called “peace squads” were actually paramilitary gangs tasked with spreading violence and shooting protesters. “Maduro’s peace means violence against the people,” Provea said. As Venezuelans braced for weeks of hardship and uncertainty, Maduro urged them to have faith in his government – and in God. “God must accompany us with his blessings in this, the most difficult of battles that we must face,” Maduro said, before being applauded by senior political and military leaders.



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France to ban 'yellow vest' protests if violent groups take part: PM

France to ban 'yellow vest' protests if violent groups take part: PMFrance’s prime minister said Paris’s police chief had been sacked and that the government would shut down “yellow vest” protests if violent groups were identified among the ranks of “yellow vest” protesters. President Emmanuel Macron and his government have been forced back on the defensive after rioters ransacked luxury boutiques and torched cafes and a bank on Saturday in the latest flare-up of violence against Macron’s pro-business reforms. “From next Saturday, we will ban ‘yellow vest’ protests in neighborhoods that have been the worst hit as soon as we see sign of the presence of radical groups and their intent to cause damage,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said in a televised speech.



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In call with Pakistan's Khan, UK's May urges action on terrorist groups

In call with Pakistan's Khan, UK's May urges action on terrorist groupsBritish Prime Minister Theresa May emphasized the importance of Pakistan taking action against all terrorist groups in a call with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday, May’s office said. India and Pakistan came to the brink of war this week as tensions escalated following a suicide car bombing that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in Indian-controlled Kashmir. India accusing Pakistan of harboring the Jaish-e Mohammad group behind the attack, which Islamabad denied.



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Pakistan bans groups linked to Mumbai attack suspects

Pakistan bans groups linked to Mumbai attack suspectsPakistan on Thursday banned two groups believed to be fronts for the group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, amid heightened pressure on Islamabad to act against militants. Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation were designated “proscribed organisations”, the interior ministry said in a statement, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan had ordered officials to accelerate action against banned groups. JuD and FIF are considered by the UN to be fronts for Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group accused by Washington and New Delhi of carrying out the Mumbai attack, which killed 166 people and brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.



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As Vatican meets on sex abuse, Pope must defrock Guam's Apuron, groups say

As Vatican meets on sex abuse, Pope must defrock Guam's Apuron, groups sayArchbishop Anthony S. Apuron was found guilty of 'certain accusations' of crimes related to the sexual abuse of minors. He has appealed the ruling.



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U.S. sends first families to Mexico to await asylum, rights groups sue

U.S. sends first families to Mexico to await asylum, rights groups sueFive families with a total of 16 people, including children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, arrived in the Mexican border city of Tijuana on Wednesday, according to a person who works in migration for the Mexican government, who asked not to be named. In late January, the United States began sending non-Mexican migrants who had crossed at the U.S. border with Mexico back to Mexico to wait as their asylum requests are processed, a program called Migrant Protection Protocols. Rights groups say the program endangers asylum seekers by forcing them to remain in regions of Mexico experiencing record levels of violence.



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U.S. sends first families to Mexico to await asylum, rights groups sue

U.S. sends first families to Mexico to await asylum, rights groups sueFive families with a total of 16 people, including children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, arrived in the Mexican border city of Tijuana on Wednesday, according to a person who works in migration for the Mexican government, who asked not to be named. In late January, the United States began sending non-Mexican migrants who had crossed at the U.S. border with Mexico back to Mexico to wait as their asylum requests are processed, a program called Migrant Protection Protocols. Rights groups say the program endangers asylum seekers by forcing them to remain in regions of Mexico experiencing record levels of violence.



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Border Patrol overwhelmed by large groups of migrant families

Border Patrol overwhelmed by large groups of migrant familiesU.S. Border Patrol said on Friday its resources were being stretched thin by larger and larger groups of Central American families left by smugglers in remote locations along the U.S. Mexico border. Until recently, most people caught crossing the border illegally were men from Mexico, but now Central American families and unaccompanied minors make up some 60 percent of those apprehended, data from the agency show. Many of the migrants who may seek passage with smugglers in their journey through Mexico cross the border and turn themselves into U.S. authorities to seek asylum in the United States, a drawn-out court process that can take months or years to resolve.



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Larger groups seen crossing border as overall arrests drop

Larger groups seen crossing border as overall arrests dropSAN DIEGO (AP) — Central Americans are increasingly entering the United States illegally in groups of at least 100 people in rugged, remote stretches of the Mexican border, authorities said Friday upon releasing January figures that show total arrests fell for a second straight month.



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